Category Archives: Ubuntu

How to Shut Down Ubuntu 11.10 Computer

My little Ubuntu machine wouldn’t let me shut down. I had to click on “Dash Home” and search for the term “shut down” and then it would do it, but there was no button for me to click to get it to shut down without searching. Very annoying. When I looked up this problem online, I realized that there should have been a little “gear icon” at the top right of the screen. There wasn’t. I don’t know why, but this seems to be a problem with the theme called “Ambiance”. You can fix this problem by changing your them to “Radiance” instead.

Settings –> Appearance –> Theme –> Change from Ambiance to Radiance

This change also added extra icons to the top menu and provided actual pictures for the “Settings” and “Trash” buttons on the side menu. With the Ambiance theme, these were all blank.

Hope this helps!

Ubuntu 10.04: Like, Like, Dislike (but Fixable)

I upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04 today. I only just restarted my computer a few moments ago after the upgrade, so I can’t give a full report just yet, but so far I have noticed two things that I like and one thing that I don’t.

With 9.10, there were some problems with the screens of certain programs/applications showing up as a hashed grid. This was a problem because if I launched an application like “system monitor”, I would just get this hashed grid (i.e. garbage) on my screen instead of the application interface. This was a fairly big problem, but one that I couldn’t be bothered to figure out how to fix, so I just left it. This also affected the internet connectivity display (the little thingy that pops up to say that you are connected or not connected to a particular network). This has been miraculously fixed in 10.4. (Thank you!!)

When I upgraded to 9.10, I lost the ability to type in Japanese. It was a pain to go back and figure out how I installed the input method editor (IME) and do it all again. This upgrade has not affected my IME, so I am quite pleased about that. I hesitated to upgrade because I thought I would have to go back and do it again AGAIN, so I’m glad that will not be the case. Well done, Ubuntu people!

Don’t Like
I know it’s only been about 23 minutes, but I am already annoyed with the minimize, maximize, and close buttons being on the wrong side. Luckily this is easily fixed. Also, I had read about this change, so I was ready for it and knew that I wouldn’t have to live with it, so I decided to go ahead with the upgrade. I feel a little “who moved my cheese” about the whole thing, especially because I didn’t even give it a try, but I’m not going to dwell. I guess it’s good that they made the change so I had the experience of going in and fixing it. It taught me something about the guts of the OS, so I shouldn’t complain too loudly.

So there you have it. “So far, so good” would be my official take on this upgrade. If you are wondering about whether or not to go ahead with the upgrade (or to install Ubuntu 10.04 for the first time), I would recommend doing it. Just be aware that it may take a couple of hours to complete the upgrade, so you might want to have a good book by your side before you start.

Change Password in Ubuntu 9.10

I don’t really get how there are a bunch of different passwords in Ubuntu so when I decided to change my password to something a little less arduous to type, I ran into some problems because I ended up changing my password for some things but not for others and my computer started acting weird (e.g. demanding a password to get a wireless connection). Here are two links that will help you if you are in the same predicament.

Stop Delayed Shutdown in Ubuntu 9.04

I meant to write up lots of things about using Ubuntu after I installed in on my laptop. Unfortunately (well, fortunately for me), everything worked fine, so I didn’t have anything to write about!

I just upgraded to 9.04 and have had some problems with my computer seeming slow sometimes. I am not sure how to fix the problem. It doesn’t always happen, but sometimes when I am typing, the computer won’t keep up with me. I am thinking about increasing my RAM, but I don’t think that the RAM is the main problem. If I figure out what the problem is, or how to fix it, I will try to report back here.

What I would like to report on today is how to prevent the delayed shutdown that has been introduced in 9.04 (codename Jaunty Jackalope). I guess some people like to have a second chance to decide whether or not they want to turn their computer off, but I kind of like to just say “turn off” and have it do my bidding immediately. I’m a bit of a tyrant that way.

If you, too, want your computer to start shutting down immediately after you issue the command, right click the icon in the top right corner of your screen (where you would usually left click to shut your computer down) and choose “Preferences”. Then, uncheck “Show confirm dialogs for logout, restart, and shutdown”.

Et voila.

How to Ubuntu (So Far)

I am a complete newbie in the Unix/Linux world. I used some Unix workstations at university, but I never really had a very clear understanding of how they worked, so I think I can safely downgrade myself to “absolute beginner”.

I have decided to jump into the world of Linux by installing Ubuntu 8.10 on an external USB drive and seeing where that takes me. I was able to install the OS on the external drive, but I am currently stuck at the point of trying to connect to the internet. My network card was fried during an electrical storm and I have been using a USB network adapter. Ubuntu seems to know that the USB network adapter is there, but doesn’t know what to do with it. I am stuck at that point. (I found the driver for the adapter, but I don’t know enough about Linux to be able to install it yet.)

Since people often ask me how I learn how to do stuff on my computer, I thought I would try to document the path towards my own personal computing enlightenment. I guess it involves quite a bit of reading (websites, magazines, anything I can get my hands on) and a huge amount of trial and error.

In the spirit of friendly documentation, here are three things that I have learned so far.

1. Get a friend to help you through your first installation so you don’t give up before you even get started. I had a friend help me with a basic dual boot installation on a desktop and then I did the USB HD installation by myself (with some online encouragement from a friend in Finland who has been acting as my Linux mentor).

2. If you want to install Ubuntu 8.10 on an external USB drive, follow these instructions.

It says that you can skip steps 8 to 11 (I did), and I also skipped steps 12 to 14 without any ill effects (that I know of). There are other sites with instructions for this task, but this one seems to offer the most simple procedure.

3. Read This.

Basic Introduction to UNIX/linux by Claude Cantin

The figures seem to be missing, but it is written in a way that even a complete beginner can absorb. I think it is important to have an understanding of Unix/Linux to get the most out of your new system. Well, that is what I think after two days of playing in the Linux world. I could be wrong, but it seems fairly self-evident.

It is going to take me a while to read Mr. Cantin’s tome, so I will leave this post for now and write more when I have learned more!